Opera Scotland

Nozze di Figaro 1923Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Marriage of Figaro

Abbreviated cast details are from the very enthusiastic Glasgow Herald review of the opening night on Friday, 2 March.  The Scotsman is every bit as enthusiastic, without allotting parts to the five principals it mentions, and missing out the Countess completely.  Charles Webber, who would doubtless have become familiar with the piece during his years working in Germany, is named as conductor.

Company information is from a programme for w/c 5 March in the collection of the V&A, London.

The Herald review does emphasise how rare performances of this masterpiece had become:- ''There was a very large audience at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, last evening, to witness Mozart's immortal Marriage of Figaro, which has just been revived by the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Many Carl Rosa patrons, in looking back over the past history of the company, can recall many fine performances of Mozart operas which have lent distinction to some of the former visits, and they were no doubt hoping that this occasion would renew for them some of the earlier joys. It may be said at once that last night's performance was well worthy to rank with the best of its predecessors. In The Marriage of Figaro the company have made their finest appearance so far of this present season, and the production may be heartily commended to the support of the opera-going public...........The two great requirements for Mozart on the stage are real singing and the proper kind of comedy, and in both respects the performance last evening was very satisfactory.''

An interesting feature is the substitution of spoken dialogue for the authentic recitative. The harpsichord and fortepiano had not yet come back into regular use, and audiences were not at all accustomed to the authentic secco recitative. Given that BNOC had presented Seraglio and Magic Flute, both authentic dialogue pieces, perhaps that is how audiences expected their Mozart.

''Miss Maude Neilson was quite delightful as Susanna, and sang with fine freshness of tone, and all the requisite delicacy of phrasing that the part calls for. In this role she makes her best appearance so far. Miss Doris Woodall was equally enjoyable as Cherubino both in singing and acting. 'Voi che sapete' was given with fine delicacy. Mr Appleton Moore was a lively and very attractive Figaro, and Mr Frederick Clendon was as reliable as ever in the part of Dr Bartolo. Miss Alma Lowe as the Countess sang very charmingly, and the letter duet with Miss Neilson was in the best Mozartian style. Mr Harry Brindle was quite good as the Count, and will be still better if he will quicken the general pace of his performance and render it with a lighter touch. Mr Jack Wright as Don Basilio was quite in the picture, and contributed some excellent and legitimate fooling. Miss Winifred Burns as Marcellina and the remaining characters were alike satisfactory.

''Without good ensemble work a Mozart opera would be better left alone. Last evening the ensemble singing was a feature of the production, giving delight by its neatness, crispness, and, where necessary, its great delicacy. The long finale to the second act went splendidly, and provided one of the best experiences of the evening. The chorus did their small part well, and the orchestra was very efficient, though somewhat lacking in string tone for the overture. Mr Charles Webber conducted, and the production was very heartily received by the audience.''

For full details of the Royal Carl Rosa's 1923 Scottish tour, see the entries for AïdaMaritanaLohengrinCarmen, Tales of Hoffmann or Bohemian Girl.

Performance Cast

Figaro the Count's valet

Appleton Moore (Mar 2)

Susanna the Countess's maid

Maud Neilson (Mar 2)

Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian

Frederick Clendon (Mar 2)

Marcellina Bartolo's housekeeper

Winifred Burns (Mar 1)

Cherubino the Count's page

Doris Woodall (Mar 2)

Count Almaviva a Spanish grandee

Harry Brindle (Mar 2)

Don Basilio a priest and music master

Jack Wright (Mar 2)

Countess Almaviva

Alma Lowe (Mar 2)

Performance DatesNozze di Figaro 1923

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

2 Mar, 19.15 14 Mar, 19.15

Perth Theatre | Perth

27 Mar, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

5 Apr, 19.15

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